Dr. Pierre Capel

Dr. Pierre Capel is a professor emeritus in experimental immunology at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands where he researched a wide range of topics from genetic modification to cancer immunotherapy.

Pierre also works with Wim Hof, otherwise known as the iceman (guest on the last podcast) who is especially well-known for some of his amazing physical feats, like staying in a tub with direct contact to ice for over an hour and fifty three minutes.

Pierre explains some of the science behind how Wim is able to withstand cold temperatures for prolonged periods of time. The explanation comes down to what the 2014 PNAS study on Wim's technique showed: that reductions in carbon dioxide temporarily increased blood pH. The missing piece to the puzzle that Pierre brings in is the simple fact that pain receptors that are critical to feeling cold temperatures actually rely on what are known as "acid sensing ion channels", which have been shown in other studies to become inactive within the pH ranges Wim and his trainees are able to increase their blood to.

In this episode, we discuss... 

  • (00:00) Introduction
  • (05:45) Harmful chronic stress vs beneficial eustress
  • (09:18) Exercise improves a person's ability to deal with chronic stress
  • (12:55) Meditation causes a measurable change in DNA expression
  • (15:51) Loneliness caused 60% increase in tumor incidence in rats
  • (19:02) Loneliness causes an increase in transcription factor NF-kB
  • (23:32) How mood affects the immune system through cortisol and circadian rhythm
  • (26:50) Immune responses activated in the gut can cause depression
  • (30:25) How meditation affects the brain and relieves chronic stress
  • (40:02) Dr. Capel talks about his meditation practice and why he does it
  • (44:42) How Wim Hof endures freezing temperatures for hours 
  • (58:16) Mice exposed to severe cold stress experienced beneficial brain reconfiguration
  • (01:08:05) The close relationship between love and smell

If you’re interested in learning more, you can read the full show notes here.

Join over 300,000 people and get the latest distilled information straight to your inbox weekly:

Become a FoundMyFitness premium member to get access to exclusive episodes, emails, live Q+A’s with Rhonda and more:

Direct download: pierre_capel_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:37pm EST